Rumors: EQT, BioNTech investors consider Sandoz bid

Nov. 19, 2021

Investment group EQT and members of the Struengmann family — who are investors in BioNTech — are considering a joint bid for Novartis’s generics division, Sandoz, according to unnamed sources cited by German newspaper Handelsblatt.

A potential offer could value Sandoz at more than $21.58 billion, the newspaper reported, making it the largest pharma deal of the year. 

EQT is a global investment organization based in Sweden. German billionaires Thomas Struengmann and twin brother Andreas are major private investors in BioNTech. They are also no strangers to deals with Novartis — In 2005, the brothers sold their generic drug company Hexal to Novartis for close to $7 billion.

Back in October, Novartis raised the prospect of divesting Sandoz after years of revamping the business. This isn't the first time Novartis has traveled down this path. In September 2018, the drugmaker announced its plan to sell its Sandoz U.S. dermatology business and generic U.S. oral solids portfolio to India’s Aurobindo for up to $1 billion — but the deal eventually fell through in April 2020, after U.S. regulators refused to sign off.

Novartis has not commented on the recent rumors.